Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 November 2020:
President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone today made good on his promise to review all ongoing cases of criminal and seditious libel in the country’s courts, of which there was only one – that of Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, following his government’s repeal of Part 5 of the notorious Public Order Act 1965. (Photo: Attorney General – Anthony Breway and Dr Sylvia Blyden outside the Court Room today).
The order to declare Dr Blyden’s case as ‘no case to answer’ – “nolle prosequi” – came from the Attorney General himself at the Pademba Road Court in Freetown. Speaking outside the Court room to journalists, this is what Attorney General Brewah said:
But Dr Blyden was not impressed, and indeed is very angry at what she refers to as the government’s disgraceful behaviour, and abuse of power and human rights in bringing trumped-up seditious libel charges against her. This is what she said to journalists after her trial was quashed today:
Commenting on today’s “nolle prosequi”, journalist and former information attaché in the Sierra Leone Embassy in Saudi Arabia – Mr Mohamed B. Jalloh said: “For me, I don’t think anybody should take credit for the removal of the so-called ten-counts charge for Criminal Libel against Dr Blyden. The questions begging for answers are – Was there any case against Dr Blyden in the first place? If yes, where is the evidence? If no, why was she illegally detained?
“So if there was no case against Dr Blyden, I think she deserves to be compensated, followed by apologies for her illegal and malicious detention. How can you keep someone behind bars for weeks without charging the matter to court? And when charged, no evidence was produced to show that she was being incarcerated for this or that. The other question is, how many Sierra Leoneans are currently illegally detained? This is a cheap way of boosting the democratic credentials of the government.”
This is the statement published by the government this afternoon: